Past crime haunts
By Bret Bradigan
Since he may well be charged
with a capital offense, Oak View resident Douglas Edward Dworak
cannot post bail, and so remains in custody on suspicion of the
rape and murder in April 2001 of 18-year-old Crystal Hamilton
of Port Hueneme.
He is expected to enter a plea at the Aug. 20 arraignment, which
was continued from July 25.
The fact that investigators were able to recover and trace his
DNA led them directly to the man, who has lived quietly in this
area for about five years. And that DNA match was made because
this was not Dworak's first sexual assault.
Dworak, 21 at the time, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for
the knifepoint rape of a Napa, Calif. woman on Oct. 25, 1986,
according to an article in the Napa Valley Register. The 39-year-old
victim was raped in her car in a residential neighborhood in
southeast Napa at 3:30 p.m., said Napa police.
Dworak, now age 37, was convicted of the crime by a jury on June
The sentence, by Superior Court Judge Philip A. Champlin, included
consecutive sentences - six years for the rape conviction, and
three years for use of a knife, six years for sexual assault
and three additional years for use of a knife - according to
Napa Valley Register archives. He was released from prison in
1997 after serving 10 years.
Investigators said that it appeared that Hamilton was visiting
friends in Ventura earlier in the day, and had called her father
for a ride home. When he arrived, she was missing.
Hamilton was found floating in the surf on the morning of April
22, 2001 at Mussel Shoals beach. The investigation lasted 26
months while detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Major Crimes Division interviewed witnesses, family members,
conducted searches and pursued other possibilities. Ventura County
instituted the U.S. Department of Justice Combined DNA Index
System in January, 2002. This crime was its first match.
With two strikes against him for that 1986 crime, Dworak is eligible
for prosecution under California's three strikes law.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news